Vials hails Bough Beech as ‘Feeder Fishing’s Wembley’
FEEDER MASTERS founder Mick Vials is already looking to fine tune and improve the event for 2018 following a widely acclaimed two-day Final on Kent’s Bough Beech Reservoir, won by Angler’s Mail columnist Darren Cox (Garbolino).
Darren reveals the tackle and tactics which helped him lift the trophy and the £12,000 winner’s cheque in a three-page Match Squad Special in pages 12-15.
Meanwhile, Angler’s Mail snatched a quick interview with Yorkshire-based Mick, whose lengthy career with Drennan Barnsley Blacks and international expertise with Preston Innovations England Feeder Team makes him one of the match scene’s senior figures.
Feeder Masters has become mega popular in just two years, Mick. What’s the secret?
I could see how feeder fishing was growing, not just in the UK but all over Europe, since FIPS started the World Feeder Championships eight years ago. Working with my brother Darren, we came up with the right idea at the right time for a UK feeder competition, which we pitched to potential sponsors.
Much of the contest’s appeal seems to be your willingness to spread qualifying matches far and wide?
We’ve run qualifiers in Europe and Ireland as well as many English venues, which aren’t included in other major contests. And we’re always open to suggestions for other venues. Anyone can reach us at any time via our Facebook page.
It’s a populist everyman event then?
Definitely! My original pitch to sponsors was that the Feeder Masters winner would be ‘The People’s Champion’. John O’Driscoll, a superb angler whose abilities aren’t widely recognised beyond his local North West circuit, winning last year’s debut event was an ideal outcome. So for Darren Cox, a widely known and much-loved angler, to win the second year is brilliant, too. Our winning cash isn’t in the same league as the big commercial fishery classics, but people love the fact that we spread a 30-grand prize purse across the top ten places.
Will Bough Beech host next year’s Final again?
That’s our intention. Bough Beech has become the Wembley of feeder fishing, just like the River Wye is for river anglers thanks to RiverFest. We’re in negotiations with venue management to secure the venue for future years. LOW flows and clear water on the Severn and Thames made both of the latest Angling Trust RiverFest qualifiers hard going for anglers hoping to qualify for November’s two-day big money Final, on the River Wye at Hereford.
Many of the 60 struggled, but the top four on the Severn at Bridgnorth all broke 20 lb. Dan Ashington (Sensas Starlets) had four pelletsand-meat barbel for 26 lb at peg 19, below Linley bridge. Adrian Paddock (Bridgnorth) and Dave Beecroft (Cambridge) also qualified.
■ On the Thames at Clanfield, Banbury Gunsmiths teamster John Price was a runaway winner with 19 lb 7 oz – 6 lb of bits to whip and groundbait with a chub and some chunky perch on chopped worm at 14 m at peg 94. Mike Bedding (Shakespeare) and John Moody (Garbolino Blackmore Vale) won their zones, so join him in the Final.
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■ Feeder Masters organiser Mick Vials with one of his catches from the 2017 Final.